July 26, 2019 / 9:15 AM / 2 months ago

Erdogan says Turkey will turn elsewhere if U.S. will not sell F-35s

ISTANBUL, July 26 (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday Turkey would turn elsewhere for fighter jets if the United States will not sell it F-35s, adding that the U.S. decision to cut Ankara from the jet production programme would not deter it from meeting its needs.

The United States said last week it was removing NATO ally Turkey from the F-35 programme, as it long threatened, after Ankara purchased and received delivery of Russian S-400 missile defences. U.S. President Donald Trump has yet to decide on sanctions on Turkey that appear to be required by U.S. law.

Erdogan, speaking publicly about Ankara’s strained ties with Washington for the first time in 11 days, said he hoped U.S. officials would be “reasonable” on the question of sanctions.

Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun; Writing by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Tuvan Gumrukcu

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